tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 13, 2011 4:00am-5:00am EDT
place. when you hear senate ethics committee, you probably think, hmm, three boring words in a row. or maybe you think strongly worded letter of reprimand. at worst, maybe you're thinking censure. over the last decade or so, that's the kind of news that the senate ethics committee makes wherever it makes news. remember the bizarre senate appointment for president obama's former senate seat? senator roland burris, appointed to fill president obama's old senate seat in illinois by that state's governor, rod blog, after mr. blagojevich was accused of trying to sell that appointment. ultimately senator burris was cleared of any wrongdoing, but they publicly admonished him with this letter. back in 2006, republican senator pete demfeatury inquired about please might there be any corruption probes of democrats conveniently timed at the next election?
the senate ethics committee responded with a letter of admonition. you may remember the larry craig sex sting. that earned senator larry craig a public letter of admonition of his own. you get the picture. they traffic in public letters of admonition. that's what they did. except today, they did not do that. today the senate ethic's committee released a 68-page report on their investigation into the now former senator john ensign of nevada, along with referrals for prosecution to the department of justice and the federal election commission. they also did this. >> ethics committee rules make clear that whenever its members have, quote, reason to believe, unquote, that a violation of law has occurred, we, quote, shall, unquote, report it to the proper authorities.
our some counsel, carol elder bruce, has written a report that speaks in great detail about her findings, and that report has been released today. >> the report clearly indicates that the senate committee did not act on what it thought or an opinion or a whim. it acted on facts determined through hundreds of interviews, 500,000 documents that were examined, and testimony that came to our committee. >> these findings are so disturbing that she believed that had senator ensign not resigned and had we been able to proceed to that phase, that the evidence of senator ensign's wrongdoing would have been substantial enough to warrant the consideration of expulsion. the harshest penalty available to the ethics committee and the senate. and that is why when former senator ensign resigned, the vice chairman and i put out a statement and we said that he had made, quote, the appropriate decision.
>> senators barbara boxer of california and johnny isakson, republican and democrat. and that committee voted unanimously to release this scathing report today. that alleges wrongdoing and rule breaking on the part of former senator john ensign of nevada. he conveniently resigned effective the day before he was due to be deposed as part of this investigation. from the written report released by the special counsel today, we learned a lot more than we ever knew about this scandal before. what the special counsel alleges in this report is worse than what was previously known. we learn how deeply implicated tom coburn was in the payoff effort to cover up the affair. we learned very granular detail
about how c street and the secretive religious group known as the family tried to manage the end of the affair to protect senator ensign, in effect. we learned that the senator and his office took specific official actions on policy matters because of the affair and the payoff and the cover-up. we have evidence that senator ensign's explanation for that $96,000 payoff after the affair, his explanation was not only a lie, it was i lie that he made his parents, his parents, swear to. in a way that may have legally implicated them. we learned that senator ensign's wife is the one who contacted the woman the senator was sleeping with to tell her she was being fired because of the affair. we learned that the woman senator ensign was sleeping with did not want to be sleeping with him. she repeatedly tried to stop the affair, and the pressure to continue it derived from senator ensign being her employer and her husband's employer and the sole source of financial support for her now broken apart family.
and we learn all of this in a format that reads like a screen play for a riveting and tragic movie. john ensign's wife is high school friends with cindy hampton. she was a bridesmaid at the ensigns' wedding. page 8. john ensign rises to become the number four ranking republican in the u.s. senate, living at c street and taking on one of the leaders of the family as his spiritual adviser. john ensign traveling to iowa and is considered a future republican contender for president. the hampton family is totally dependent on john ensign. he gave them loans to get a home down the street from ensign that they could not afford. he even paid private school tuition for the hamptons' kids. paying for family vacations. both of the hamptons are employed by senator ensign. the affair of course ends all of that. when the affair ends, both
hamptons lose their jobs. they end up losing their home and the senator, classy guy, stops paying the hampton children's school tuition that he had been paying. page 11. the affair. senator ensign described as relentless, persistent, just wouldn't stop and kept calling and calling and would never take no for an answer. ms. hampton eventually yielded. the affair discovered. quote, mr. hampton found out about the affair -- listen to this -- on december 23rd, 2007, while he and his wife were on the way to the airport to pick up their son for the holidays. senator ensign was in a separate car to greet the son as well. while waiting in his car while mrs. hampton went to pick up her son, mr. hampton saw that his wife left her cell phone in the car and viewed a text message from senator ensign to ms. hampton that made clear an affair was occurring. how wonderful it is.
scared, but excited. when mrs. hampton came back to the car, he stated, i know what you and john are doing. he then called senator ensign and said he knew what was happening. senator ensign did not inform his wife at the time. when the cars were parked in the airport parking lot, mr. hampton jumped out of his car and chased senator ensign in the airport parking lot. mrs. hampton went into the airport and sat there for hours. ms. hampton later took a taxi back to her home. that's two days before christmas. the two families then spend christmas together. and senator ensign pledges it's all over, it was all a big mistake. by january, he is pursuing cindy hampton again. cindy hampton is despondent over this, but she goes along. her family is 100% financially dependent on john ensign. he gives her thousands of dollars in cash to pay for hotel
rooms that she books in her own name for their liaisons. at the c street national prayer breakfast, he tells her he wants to marry her. he makes $1,000 worth of phone calls to her. during a delegation to iraq, he lists her as aunt judy in his cell phone to cover up the calls he is making to her. it does not work, this cover-up. senator tom coburn lives with senator ensign in c street. the husband of cindy hampton asks tom coburn and three of the leaders of the family in c street to tell john ensign that the affair needs to stop. john ensign says, ok, ok, the affair will stop, but he does not stop. two days after the interception, tim coe gets a call from cindy's husband again saying he spotted his wife's car and john ensign's car both parked at the same time in a motel parking lot in summerland, nevada. he calls ensign on his cell phone and says, i know exactly what where you are.
i know what you are doing. put your pants on and go home. senator ensign initially says he would not leave the hotel room, telling mr. coe, i can't. i love her. and so the next day, john ensign fired her husband. after this affair with cindy hampton, john ensign fired her husband, cut off cindy's kids' tuition he was paying, and then senator ensign's wife fired cindy herself. the rest of the report details the illegal lobbying job that he put ensign's husband into after he fired him from his own staff. how he retaliated against a constituent who would not hire hampton for that illegal lobbying job, telling his staff to jack him up to high heaven, and never to contact senator ensign again. how ensign's office facilitated that illegal lobbying by doug hampton and did what he asked, using the power of the office of
the united states senator in order to make good on this payoff after the affair. the illegal $96,000 check to the hampton family arranged by senator ensign. how senator ensign had his parents explain that payment in a way that his father totally disavowed and denied under questioning by the special counsel. in trying to cover up the whole sordid affair, the affair itself, the payout, the illegal lobbying, all of it, senator ensign started using g mail instead of senate email accounts and started a new shredding policy in his office. he changed the responsibility of his senate staffers so that the ones who realized what was going on was probably illegal no longer got to see what was going on anymore. his chief of staff, john lopez, did realize that what was happening was at least wrong and potentially illegal. so john lopez got put in charge of handling the details of most of it in a way that would protect senator ensign. john lopez is implicated as the senator's chief of staff. why is he not in trouble? because he got immunity from prosecution.
he got immunity from prosecution in exchange for spilling the beans on john ensign. the special counsel also tried to get immunity for the husband, for doug hampton, get him immunity about the illegal lobbyist job and the rest of it, but the justice department would not let that happen. they have got doug hampton under indictment, which is where senator john ensign may end up as well. there is enough evidence here to likely to have john ensign expelled from the senate if he had not resigned. but the referral of this evidence to the election commission and to the justice department for potential criminal prosecution probably means that this is really, really, really not over. now senator ensign might be indicted. doug hampton is indicted. john ensign's chief of staff who he dragged down with him was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony.
cindy hampton and doug hampton are now divorced. the report says that cindy hampton is filing for personal bankruptcy as well, trying to move to california to start her life over. she describes her life as ruined. senator ensign's parents are potentially in legal jeopardy as well for lying. lying in statements they did not seem to understand, that senator ensign had drawn up for them to sign, and that they disavowed when they were asked about them by the special counsel. who's the only one in all of this story who is doing fine? senator tom coburn of oklahoma. the man who knew about senator ensign's affair, and kept it secret, and tried to negotiate a nice settlement to end it, a financial settlement. senator coburn is trying to negotiate a good deal for senator ensign. right? this is in the report. tom coburn trying to negotiate a good deal for senator ensign. page 37 of the report. trying to negotiate a payout to the family to make the scandal go away. quote, senator coburn recalled that he was on his tractor at
his home mowing his lawn at the time and was annoyed to receive the call in the middle of that task. but senator coburn did take the call on his lawnmower, and he played his role in the john ensign scandal. tom coburn's role was to make a lower financial counteroffer when he heard how much money the hamptons wanted from john ensign. he was the one who negotiated a lower potential payout amount to john ensign's mistress. he was out to save john ensign some money in covering up this affair. everyone else this touched had their life destroyed by this, but tom coburn, still in the senate. doing fine. his website bragging today about how he is a co-sponsor of the defense of marriage act. joining us now is john rolston from "the las vegas sun" and a man who features prominently on page 42 of the special council report. i'm not sure if congratulations is the right thing to say in a case like this, but i do feel like all of your reporting and your focus this has been vindicated.
do you feel that way? >> well, i don't know if my reporting has been vindicated, rachel. but i tell you who has been vindicated here, doug hampton. because everything he said on page 42, it's a link to that program we had him on face-to-face less than a month after john ensign's disclosure, has been borne out to be true. the severance pay, the conspiracy to get him the lobbying jobs, the full knowledge that john ensign had. and tom coburn's role, which he detailed, and it's even more detailed in those granular details in that report, rachel. he called mike ensign, john ensign's father, which according to the report resulted in a torrent of expletives from the usually staid senator ensign. so everything doug hampton has said about what happened here has been vindicated in that report. and doug hampton is the one under indictment, and john ensign is a free man? it seems like there's something wrong there, rachel.
>> let me ask you about the issue of the senator's father. senator ensign's father is a wealthy man, a prominent man in nevada. and this $96,000 payment from the senator's parents, they said it wasn't severance. it was just a gift. part of a pattern of generosity of lots of gifts that senator ensign's parents had given the hamptons. they cited a big trip to hawaii, for example, that senator ensign's parents paid for for the hamptons. now, ensign's parents say the statements they signed were lies. did senator ensign get his parents in trouble here potentially? >> it sure seems it might be possible since they were his main witnesses before the federal election commission. john ensign would have had to disclose that $96,000, which again doug hampton claimed from the word go was severance. john ensign has claimed it was not. it was a gift. he got his parents to swear to that in front of the federal election commission.
real quickly, rachel, mike ensign is a very, very private person. even when he was the head of a major gaming company, he did not like public attention. he wasn't thrilled that his son was in public office. he has to be mortified by all of this. but let's be clear what that report says. that report has multiple witnesses inside john ensign's office saying john ensign described it himself as, quote, severance. that is devastating to what ensign has said previously, what his attorneys have said. and, yes, what he had his parents swear to. >> the election commission, the federal election commission, had cleared john ensign before this. now they're getting this referred back to them from the ethics committee with a lot of new evidence here. what do you make of that? part of the reason the assurance about severance is so important is because it violates election laws. >> yes, exactly. and by getting john ensign and his parents to say what they said, they essentially took their word for it over what doug
hampton had claimed that it was, that it was $96,000 in severance. the evidence amassed by this special counsel -- and we should say what an amazing job she did. but that's the lesser part of this, rachel. what is the department of justice doing? there is a mountain of evidence against john ensign in that special counsel's report. clearly obstructing justice, by shredding documents, go to gmail instead of his senate account, trying to ward the d.o.j. off of the scent. and doug hampton is indicted, and ensign is informed by the department of justice he can go have a nice life? there is something really wrong there, rachel. >> and that may not be the end of it. with this new evidence we are sort of waiting to see if another shoe will drop from the department of justice. jon ralston. as i say, the star of page 42 of this report. jon, thanks so much. look forward to your continued
reporting. >> thanks, rachel. >> beyond the john ensign scandal, it was a big day on capitol hill for ceos getting yelled at, which made orrin hatch make in public a very specific request of me. i'm pretty sure it was me. in any case, senator hatch's request will be granted, next, live, and it involves hats. nexf
when we say you're free to see the world, we mean it. call today and get a free hoveround information kit that includes a video and full color brochure. dennis celorie: "it's by far the best chair i've ever owned." terri: "last year, 9 out of 10 people got their hoveround for little or no money." jim plunkitt: "no cost. absolutely no cost to me." breaking news...when you call today, we'll include a free hoveround collapsible grabber with the purchase of your power chair. it reaches, it grabs, it's collapsible and it's portable. it goes wherever you go. get it free while supplies last. call the number on your screen to get your free video, brochure and your free hoveround collapsible grabber. call the number on your screen. sometimes politics is about personalities. in today's news, for instance,
there was a lot of personality as politics on display. even beyond the john ensign affair, just looking at the positive stuff, the rollout of john huntsman as a little known but promising republican candidate for president. that rollout started today with a big puffy profile of mr. huntsman in "time" magazine. did you know he played the keyboards in a band called wizard? not the wizard or the wizards but just wizard. now you do. thank you, "time" magazine. candidate watchers are excited about the fact that mitch daniels' wife is giving a speech tonight in indiana, seen as a key signifier that mr. daniels might actually be running for president this year, apparently based on what we know about his personal life and how his wife functions in his political decision making. also the political press today parsed every moment, every aspect, of an interaction that president obama had with a soon-to-be laidoff federal employee at a town hall event yesterday. judging his perceived empathy,
delving into the personal circumstances, the work circumstances of the woman who confronted him. sometimes politics is about personalities. and there's nothing wrong with that. sometimes politics is about policy, very rarely. but today was one of those days when politics wasn't necessarily about personalities or policy all that much, as much as it was about emotional catharsis. as the ceos of the five biggest oil companies in the country went to d.c. to a democratic controlled hearing, to tell the senate and the american people that while gas is $4 a gallon, when it costs eight hours of minimum wage work to pay for one tank of gasoline, eight hours for one tank, when oil companies are breaking their own records for the most profit ever made by any corporation ever in the recorded history of earth, when exxon mobil is making $5 million of profit every single hour, the oil companies today tried to tell america that they need to keep getting their taxpayer subsidies, please.
you knew it was going to be a cathartic day when conoco phillips on the eve of today's hearings put out a press release to say it would be un-american for conoco phillips to no longer get hundreds of millions in corporate welfare despite its unbelievable profits. that was their press release the day before this hearing. >> did you really mean to question my patriotism and the patriotism of the 28 other united states senators who are co-sponsors? do you believe that president obama is un-american because he has proposed cutting oil subsidies? do you believe that former president bush, speaker boehner, congressman ryan, are un-american because they have expressed cutting oil subsidies? >> senator, there was -- the title of our media release. nothing was intended to be personally directed to you or any of the other senators, colleagues or anyone. >> do you think anyone who advocates cutting these subsidies is un-american?
yes or no. >> well -- >> yes or no. it was your release that said un-american. yes or no? >> it's really not credible to say that you're going to raise gas prices simply because we are asking you to forego 1% to 2% of your profits. >> do you think that your subsidy is more important than the financial aid we give to students to go to college? could you answer that yes or no. >> well, it's very difficult question for me. two totally different questions. >> but we have to weigh those two things. >> how much profit on a barrel of oil do you have to make to not be needful of these subsidies that we think you don't need? but you say your life depends on?
at some point, you know, you wouldn't need the subsidies. i think you're there already, but you don't. so at what point do you think you don't need these subsidies? >> as we described, we don't receive subsidies, senator. i don't think the american people want shared sacrifice. i think they want shared prosperity. and what we have to offer -- >> that's a lovely statement. but do you understand how out of touch that is? i think you're out of touch. deeply, profoundly out of touch. and deeply and profoundly committed to sharing nothing. >> these five ceos knew that this was what they were in for today. they are well paid, they know that this is part of their job to be on the receiving end of this kind of complaint, when all is causing everybody else so much financial pain, but it's causing them so much financial party. they know the drill, though, as it were. so they knew this was going to happen. mostly they just sat there and took it today. what was interesting, though, was that one republican senator decided today that he would make
a really big show of taking the ceos' side. orrin hatch of utah. >> well, the america people ask congress to do something about high gas prices, the response of democrats is to rail on the gas companies. >> leave exxon alone! >> i'm sorry. that was very petty. i take it back. i'm sorry that we did that. by way of explanation, though, this is why i am feeling petty about senator orrin hatch today. i'm sorry. >> the liberal mouth pieces over at msnbc certainly had the talking points yesterday afternoon and are ready to make some political hay at the expense of our witnesses today. i'm not going to wait for the msnbc lineup to put on their hard hats and stand on an oil rig and do a promotional ad asking this tough question about the potential loss of blue
collar american jobs. >> senator hatch, i didn't know you cared. but since you do, i would love to talk to you about this stuff. i would love to talk to you about this stuff while wearing a silly hat if that's what you want. i would offer you a hat so we could both wear hats and talk about this stuff if that would make you more comfortable. your office told us that you were not available to come on the show tonight. but because of you talking about me in the senate today, i know you're watching. so i live in hope that you will want to be on this show. here's what i would like to ask you. first, you say we need to keep subsidizing these big oil companies so they'll keep investing in the united states and keep creating jobs, right? the thing is, the record shows that as they keep making more and more and more and more and more and more and more profits for themselves, that has not translated into them making any more jobs. quite the contrary. here for example is exxon mobil's net income from 2005 to 2008. look at that. every single year they have made
more and more and more money, and every single year they shed employees. so, senator, how much more profit do you think these oil companies will need to make before that actually does turn into jobs like you say it will? >> second question. you said cutting the oil company subsidies will hurt the industry's bottom line, and that means higher prices at the pump. exxon just posted its highest quarterly profit since the end of 2008. both of those record quarters came at a time when we were paying $4 a gallon for gas. if you really think there is a cause and effect relationship between the company having a good bottom line and us getting good gas prices, how much better do you think exxon's bottom line is going to have to get before you're expecting prices to go down? third. back in 2005, when oil was at $55 a barrel, oil company executives told congress they didn't really need their subsidies anymore because prices were so high. your colleague ron wyden played that clip during the hearing today.
now they're making double that amount of money on a barrel of oil. they are making double that, but now they are saying actually they do need those subsidies. how do you explain that math? fourth. why do we need to incentivize oil companies at all to take part in the most successful industry ever? they can't afford to pay for trucking? taxpayers should subsidize repairs at their wells? if we decided tomorrow that all of the incentives were gone, would they decide that drilling was not profitable anymore? would they quit? would they stop doing it in and on that point, last year these five oil companies alone made $1.5 trillion. exxon mobil makes $83,000 in profit every single minute. how much do you think they really depend on that few hundred million you give them every year? it is a drop in their ocean, and it could actually make a big
difference somewhere else in the budget. how much profit do they need to make not to need the subsidies anymore? six. while we're talking, is your opinion that the gas companies need the subsidy even when they are making trillions, are your opinions on this at all affected by the fact that you have been given $255,000 by the oil and gas industry over the course of your career? seventh. you are one of the most proponents of deep water drilling off of u.s. shores. last week, the coast guard cites transocean as one of the key causes of the worst oil spill in u.s. history. but transocean is now contracted to drill almost half of the new wells since the bp disaster in the gulf of mexico. are you cool with that? and eighth. speaking of offshore drilling, and your concern about those blue collar workers, are you concerned that an oil worker is five times more likely to be killed working on an oil rig in
u.s. waters than working on an oil rig in foreign waters? does that bother you? sir? >> the liberal mouth pieces over at msnbc certainly had the talking points yesterday afternoon and are ready to make some political hay at the expense of our witnesses today. i'm not going to wait for the msnbc lineup to put on their hard hats and stand on an oil rig and do a promotional ad asking this tough question about the potential loss of blue collar american jobs. >> senator hatch, you do not have to wait. you can have that conversation with me in a hard hat or not, your choice. i'm happy to have that conversation with you. you think it makes great conservative politics to denounce liberal mouth pieces at msnbc for wanting to talk about oil companies getting taxpayer subsidies. i can tell you, sir, that me and other liberal in the country mouth piece or not would be happy to talk about you wanting oil companies to get taxpayer subsidies every day from now
until the next election and beyond. corporate welfare for the most profitable companies the world has ever known, while they are charging $4 a gallon for gas. you do not have to wait for me to want to talk about this, sir. you are welcome here anytime. up next -- a senator who will talk to me about this. bob menendez of new jersey. we'll be right back.
and i just -- i think that's beyond the pale. and i was hoping you were going to come here and apologize for that, because it's simply beyond the pale. so are you willing to apologize for what your company -- >> senator, what i just said, there was nothing intended personally. what it was -- >> so you're not willing to apologize? >> we felt that the tax proposals under consideration, we question the fairness. and the other is that the tax proposals under consideration were inconsistent without having an energy policy that would have an adverse impact -- >> you're unwilling to apologize for your company's statement. ok. we're joined by senator robert menendez of new jersey. who did not get that apology from conoco phillips' ceo today. the implied threat was that if you cut their tax subsidies, prices will go up and it will hurt oil industry jobs.
is that what you understand their threat to be? >> well, rachel, i can't understand what their threats are. and i couldn't understand how those five ceos could come before the united states senate and the american people and say that going from $125 billion in profits this year, collectively, among the big five oil companies, to $123 billion this year, if we take away those subsidies, is somehow going to create -- cost jobs, is somehow going to be a catastrophe, is somehow going to cause them to increase the price of gasoline. it's pretty outrageous across the board. all of their testimony in my mind was pretty outrageous across the board. and of course with the conoco phillips saying it's un-american, well, i know most americans whose medium income is about $50,000 can't quite understand why they have to in
addition to pay at the pump $4 a gallon have to dig in their pockets and give the oil companies $21 billion over the next 10 years. >> in addition to your sort of moment today that we played at the top of this segment, you talking to conoco phillips, their ceo about that un-american charge, another moment that really struck me today was senator ron wyden playing tape of these same companies, same major oil companies, saying when oil was half the price that it is now, that that oil price was so high they really didn't need their subsidies anymore. now when they are getting double that amount for the price of a barrel of oil, they're saying they do need the subsidies. how do they explain that change? >> well, i really don't think they explained it to anyone's satisfaction. different ceos, same company. but it's the same proposition that former president bush, who was very friendly to the oil industry, said, well, after $55 a barrel, you do not need the subsidies. well, we're at about $100. you know, that others have said as well.
speaker boehner has referred to this in the past now. he is walking it back because i guess he is getting pressed by big oil. congressman ryan, e republican budget chairman in the house, has talked about eliminating these subsidies. a whole host of my colleagues on the republican side of the aisle in the senate have talked about it. so it seems to me that this is unexplainable by the industry. and no matter how they shape it or want to spin it, it's just one of those things that they should have come in and said, look, we're ready to join in reducing the deficit, because under my legislation, we take the $21 billion and the tax breaks they are getting and put it towards deficit reduction. we're all talking about reducing deficits. we need shared sacrifice. certainly the oil companies that are making $125 billion this year in profits, not revenues, in profits, could afford to let go of those $2 billion a year for the next 10 years.
>> you have been vocal in describing what you think is the political potency of this issue, saying that you are willing to keep talking about this as frequently as you can, given that republicans haven't come up with really a political answer for it. when this ultimately is voted on in the senate, in terms of how this proceeds as a policy matter, do you expect that any republicans will peel off from their party line on this and join democrats in voting to repeal these subsidies? or do you think it's going to be a 100% republican no vote? >> you know, rachel, we'll see. there are at least five republican colleagues, present members of the senate, who have said in one form or another, that these subsidies no longer are needed and should be repealed. you know, there will be that moment. and their words versus their votes. and hopefully they'll join us. but i'm convinced we're going to do this, because whether this is done through my legislation or whether this is done as part of any debt ceiling vote, which we'll insist on, or whether it's done as part of any budget vote, we are going to eliminate these
subsidies. i don't know how anyone, how any of these five ceos, can come before the nation and say that making $123 billion versus $125 billion is un-american. i think the average person out there in the country must have said these people, jay rockefeller, got it right. they are so out of touch. so out of touch that it's just incredible to have heard them make the statements they made. and incredible for conoco phillips to say it's un-american. it's un-american that we in fact permit them to in foreign countries, instead of paying a royalty, they have it ultimately fashioned as a tax so they can get that whole tax break here in the united states. and what u.s. taxpayers are doing is subsidizing the production of foreign oil. that's ridiculous. that's one of the things that i'll eliminate in my bill. >> senator robert menendez of new jersey, one of the democratic senators calling for the repeal of oil industry subsidies.
many thanks for your time tonight, sir. >> good to be with you, rachel. >> take note about what he said about that debt ceiling discussion, if that is not just a stand alone clean one issue debt ceiling vote and other things are going to be folded in on that. senator menendez saying that oil industry subsidies will be one of the things that democrats insist be folded into that vote. oh, really. all right. it is not every day that senator john mccain gives a speech on the floor of the united states senate that ed schultz wholeheartedly admires and endorses and gives a personal ed schultz standing ovation to, but today was one of those days. be sure and watch ed schultz tonight. don't miss it. coming up on this show, why the response to this is the best new thing in the world today. you will want to see this. we'll be right back. ugh, my feet are killin' me.
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happy i almost called in today and didn't come to today. what bill wolf sent around this morning was subject lined, schoolhouse schloch. it can be found at the new internet venture of mike huckaby, former arkansas governor, self-help author, and fox news channel host. his new gig is animated history videos for kids. the first one is called the reagan revolution. it starts with kids taking a time traveling bicycle thing back to the late 1970s. >> next stop, washington, d.c. >> the downturn in the economy is killing us. people are out of work. and some of their morals are just gone. >> gimme your money. >> spoiler alert. turns out the economy and the morals all get completely better when ronald reagan is elected. and nobody ever gets mugged again by men of indeterminate race in disco t-shirts.
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republican party some day. although he was coming to you on the tv machine as a fox news channel host or on the internet says the author of books like a simple government, simple christmas, or living beyond your lifetime, also famously "quit digging your grave with a knife and fork" featuring mike huckabee as your down home republican diet guru, mr. huckabee has come up with a lot of different ways to make money off his own name. now he has a new way of making money off being mike huckabee. this is his latest enterprise, a company called learn our history. it promises, it guarantees to give your kids a learning adventure they'll never forget. for a trial offer of just $9.95 you get a free dvd about american history along with four free gifts. there is a small processing charge of $8.95 for the free gifts. all of this conveniently billed to your credit card and then you get a new history according to huckabee dvd every month from now until eternity for $11.95
plus $3.95 shipping. they keep coming every month and you keep getting charged every month unless you call to cancel. >> our films make great gifts for your kids or grand kids so why not see for yourself? click on this button right here and your kids can enjoy the reagan revolution dvd for under $10. and as an added bonus we'll send you $50 in free gifts just for previewing the video. if your kids don't love the film, just send it back within 30 days and we'll refund the purchase price. give it a try. i guarantee your kids are going to learn and have fun. >> click on this button right here. almost every political candidate, democratic or republican, sells you on the glorious future you will have with them if they are in charge of it. president barack obama brings you a vision of winning the future and so does republican newt gingrich, word for word, winning the future. but one difference between republican politicians and democratic politicians is that while both of them will sell you
a new and improved future with them in charge, republicans' culture war ethos about politics means they will also sell you not just a new and improved future but a new and improved past, a revised american history carefully constructed to make you feel more comfortable than you might otherwise feel about our national history. you may remember the house on american activities committee. part of that was senator joe mccarthy red baiting the living heck out of the entertainment industry dragging in writers and actors and anyone he thought might have a whif of communism on them. remember those hearings all the people who turned in their friends who then got black listed as communists and some got sent to prison. a bunch of them never worked again. in 1947 ronald reagan testified before that committee as a friendly witness. as the president of the screen actors guild and in 2011 mike huckabee reimagines all of this as six words in his animated verse of ronald reagan for kids.
>> ronald reagan started as an actor but he was so much more. he worked against communism in hollywood and became governor of california. >> he worked against communism in hollywood. we asked learn our history today who had done the animation on these dvds. they would not tell us. if you know who brought this animated amazing sauce to life please get in touch. we would love to know. >> wow. you can really say that every american pulled together to win this war. even the gals were in on it. >> you go, girl. >> show those germans and japanese the power of america. >> woo hoo. >> woo hoo. show them the power of america. under a democratic president. who is not mentioned in the video reimagining the history of world war ii. maybe that part is in some kind of accompanying study guide not on the dvd. i don't know. >> what we see and hear isn't always the same as what we read in books or see on tv. so what? we know the truth.
and that's good enough for us. >> yeah, kid. don't believe all that pesky book learning. for $9.95 billed monthly to your credit card by this republican politician plus shipping and handling the future is waiting for you. the past? the past we can edit. ugh, my feet are killin' me. well, we're here to get you custom orthotic inserts.
the best new thing in the world today is the latest version of this picture of the situation room during the bin laden mission. last week a hasidic newspaper erased hillary clinton and another woman from the picture citing the, quote, laws of modesty. well the website free williamsburg.com has now responded by taking all of the men out of the picture. those pictures of the intense obama and biden too scintillating to handle. best new thing in the world today free williamsburg.com. the link is at our blog if you want to check it out. tracking bin laden, how the al qaeda mastermind was able to